I’m outlining my next book right now, following the process that I’ve used for all my stories. That means I’m busy concocting problems for my lead character.
I want her to have at least one deep, heart-level problem that’s sabotaging her life and stopping her from becoming the person God wants her to be.
And, since I write romance, the problem also means she’s shooting herself in the foot when it comes to finding love. Resolving her problem will also move the barrier that’s standing between her and her love interest.
Meanwhile, her love interest isn’t skipping merrily through life. Not by a long shot. He, too, has a problem that’s messing up his life and affecting his relationships. He’s got to work through his own stuff.
Yes, I’m a professional troublemaker, but only for my fictional characters.
In all my books, I primarily want each of my love interests to grow because of their troubles, and to find love as a by-product of that growth. If they never got into a relationship, they’ll still have taken one step closer in their sanctification, the process through which God conforms us more and more to the image of Jesus.
Long before I began writing seriously, I had an interest in psychology, relational problems, and emotional trauma, and how God heals our brokenness.
And now that I’m a writer, I’m drawn to explore the things that wound us deep inside, such as fractured family dynamics, painful breakups, and past sinful lifestyles.
Including them in romance means the characters will get a happy ending, and—more importantly—since it’s Christian romance, their healing isn’t just based on the shifting sands of emotionalism, but on the solid rock of Jesus.
If there’s a spectrum between angsty romance on one end and light-hearted comedy on the other, my books definitely lean on the more serious side.
Do you tend to read more angsty books, or do you gravitate towards lighter stories?